Cover image for Grandad Mandela / Ambassador Zindzi Mandela, Zazi and Ziwelene Mandela ; illustrated by Sean Qualls.
Grandad Mandela / Ambassador Zindzi Mandela, Zazi and Ziwelene Mandela ; illustrated by Sean Qualls.
Publication Information:
London : Frances Lincoln Children's Books, 2018.

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : colour illustrations ; 29 cm
The great-grandchildren of Nelson Mandela ask their grandmother fifteen questions about the former South African president, from his activism work, his Nobel Peace Prize, and his time in prison.
Audience/Reading Level:
Interest age level: 4 and up.

Interest grade level: Preschool - 2.


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
968.065092 MAN MAN Book Junior Collection

On Order



"...profoundly moving..." -Publishers Weekly

Nelson Mandela's two great-grandchildren ask their grandmother, Mandela's youngest daughter, 15 questions about their grandad - the global icon of peace and forgiveness who spent 27 years in prison. They learn that he was a freedom fighter who put down his weapons for the sake of peace, and who then became the President of South Africa and a Nobel Peace Prize-winner, and realise that they can continue his legacy in the world today. Seen through a child's perspective, and authored jointly by Nelson Mandela's great-grandchildren and daughter, this amazing story is told as never before to celebrate what would have been Nelson's Mandela 100th birthday.

Author Notes

Ambassador Zindzi Mandela is a South African freedom fighter, diplomat, writer, speaker, cultural advocate and favorite Grandma. She is the last born child of Mrs Winnie Madikizela- Mandela and President Nelson Mandela, and was only 18 months old when her father went to prison. In 1985, when she was 25 years old, she read Nelson Mandela's famous refusal to accept the offer of conditional release from President P. W. Botha to a packed football stadium in Soweto, saying his words, 'I cannot and will not give any undertaking at a time when I and you, the people, are not free.' The Ambassador lives in Copenhagen where she serves as South Africa's ambassador to Denmark.

Zazi Mandela (8) and Ziwelene Mandela (6) are the great-grandchildren of Mrs. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and President Nelson Mandela. Zazi is a storyteller and an aspiring performer. Ziwelene is a storyteller and a maverick.

Sean Qualls is an award winning, Brooklyn-based, children's book illustrator, artist and author. He has illustrated a number of highly acclaimed books for children, including Giant Steps to Change The World by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis-Lee, Little Cloud and Lady Wind by Toni Morrison and her son Slade, and Before John Was a Jazz Giant , for which he received a Coretta Scott King Illustration Honor. Sean also created the art for Dizzy by Jonah Winter and Skit Scat Raggedy Cat by Roxane Orgill. His work has received two Blue Ribbon citations from the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. Qualls has created illustrations for magazines, newspapers, and advertisements and his work has been shown in galleries in New York and across the country.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Among the numerous picture books about Nelson Mandela, this title, published to honor the 100th anniversary of Mandela's birth, is the first to have been created by his family members. Here, a dialogue between Mandela's young great-grandchildren Zazi and Ziwelene, and their grandmother, Mandela's daughter Zindzi, introduces South Africa's recent history and the family's role in toppling apartheid. In a child's direct, simple language, the questions range from specific moments in history ("Why did Grandad go to jail?") to challenging, philosophical definitions ("What is justice?"). A few lines read with understandable, hyperbolic notes of family pride ("Winnie Mandela was born... amongst the Pondo people, who produced the best warriors in history"), though younger readers may need help grasping the meaning of a final reference to volunteering. The intimacy created by the family voices and connections is profoundly moving, and Qualls's dynamic paper-collage compositions of the Mandelas, as well as supporters of all colors, reinforce the sense of a final, unifying concept: "Ubuntu... means I am because we all are." Ages 4-7. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.